Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The Christian Institute: Anyone who criticises same-sex marriage or Sharia law could be branded an “extremist” under proposed new powers, Christians and atheists have jointly warned.
The Compass News (CNS): Catholic leaders in Pakistan protested the Nov. 4 beatings and burning of a young Christian couple accused of desecrating the Quran.
Acton: Opposing Sharia law may appear to be commonsensical measure. But such laws are unnecessary since state law and the Constitution already trump foreign law. They also can’t be written to oppose only Sharia (that would be religious discrimination) so they are written in a broad way that has unintended consequences.
Yahoo News (AP): After Islamic State seized Falluja in January it persuaded a man making covers for cars to sell suicide vests instead, one of many changes in the Iraqi city as it adapts to life under the ultra-hardline Sunni militants.
Christian exodus in Iraq and Syria reached ‘Biblical proportions,’ Open Door says on Day of Prayer for persecuted church
The Christian Post: Persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned that the exodus of Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing terror group ISIS reached “biblical proportions” this year, and called for Christian unity during the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday.
The Washington Times (AP): Islamic State militants tortured and abused Kurdish children captured earlier this year near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, beating them with hoses and electric cables, an international rights group said Tuesday.
Public Discourse: Austria’s attempt to mandate a single German translation of the Quran reflects ignorance about Islam and the factors contributing to violent extremism, obliviousness to the nature of modern media, and an attitude of cultural imperialism.
CNN: Boko Haram laughed off Nigeria’s announcement of a ceasefire agreement, saying there is no such deal and schoolgirls abducted in April have been converted to Islam and married off.
Christian father banned from daughter’s school after confrontation over 3-page essay on the Five Pillars of Islam
The Christian Post: A Maryland public high school has banned the father of one of its Christian students from the premises, alleging that he threatened to disrupt the school environment after the vice principal did not give into his complaints about the school’s history curriculum, which includes teaching components of Islam.
Christian News Network (Morning Star News): A Sudanese father of two who once worked as a human rights defender now lives in a refugee camp after surviving an attempt on his life by Islamic extremists.
Religious Freedom Coalition: The Islamic State has just beheaded a woman who resisted being raped by an ISIS fighter. She killed the rapist and then was slaughtered for defending herself.
The Christian Post: A 25-year-old British mother is believed to have traveled to Syria, along with her 1-year-old baby son, to join Islamic State extremists in their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, according to her family.
Religion News Service: The Assyrian Christian town of around 6,000 people sits on a hill below the seventh-century Rabban Hormizd Monastery, temporarily closed because of the security situation. Residents of Alqosh fled this summer ahead of Islamic State militants. Around 70 percent of the town’s residents have since returned. Still, a sense of unease hangs in the air.
Christian News Network: An Iranian pastor has been sentenced to six years in prison for spreading Christianity in the nation, an act that is believed to be seen by the government as a threat to the Iranian regime.
The New York Times: Scores of young women have been kidnapped in new abductions by Islamist militants in Nigeria, according to local journalists, a Roman Catholic bishop and news reports, indicating that Boko Haram’s campaign of violence is continuing despite official reports of a cease-fire with the group.
Fox News: A Yazidi-Iraqi woman abducted by the Islamic State was able to make contact with a BBC correspondent and said that the conditions under which she was being held were deplorable.
Zenit: A local human rights organization warned of interests groups involved in covering up the truth following a Pakistani court’s ruling upholding a Christian woman’s death sentence.
One News Now: Attorneys for Bibi say they plan to appeal her death sentence for blasphemy. A court upheld that penalty last week, ending speculation as to how the court might rule.
CBN: New violence in Nigeria is casting doubt on the government’s claim the Boko Haram terrorist group is ready to release more than 200 schoolgirls.
CBN: Kurdish forces fighting to protect the critical Syrian city of Kobani from the Islamic State received additional weapons and ammunition over the weekend.
Christianity Today: Fawzi Khalil recalls what he saw on a recent visit to Dohuk, Iraq. Refugees slept on streets and under bridges, fleeing the wrath of ISIS.
The Christian Post: As a Christian and a conservative, I don’t often find myself in agreement with liberal comedian Bill Maher and atheist author Sam Harris.
Canon and Culture: What did you do on Saturday, July 19th? Catch a movie? Visit the beach? Host a barbecue? Whatever you did, half a world away beneath that same summer sun thousands of Iraqi Christians were being purged from the city of Mosul and told never to return on pain of death.
The Christian Post: Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of British aid worker Alan Henning in a multi-faith ceremony in Manchester on Sunday. Henning, who was beheaded by terror group ISIS earlier in October, was remembered as a “hero” who “put the needs of others before his own.”
Report: Islamic State sells Yazidi girls for $1,000, Yazidi boys forced to train to become ISIS militants
The Christian Post: A new report released Sunday provides more details on how Islamic State militants are inhumanly treating their captives of religious minority groups, more specifically the Yazidis. The report finds that militants are forcing preteens, teenagers and grown women into forced marriages and sex slavery, while forcing detained Yazidi men to convert to Islam and young Yazidi boys to train to become ISIS fighters.
CBN: Iraqi officials have sent out an urgent request for U.S. ground troops to help the Iraqi army, as well-armed ISIS terrorists moved to the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib.
CBN: Islamic State terrorists continue to advance and take new ground despite U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
Aleteia: Father Hanna Jallouf, the Franciscan parish priest kidnapped on Sunday night by a group of armed militants of the jihadist faction Jabhat al-Nusra, has been released, according to Fides news agency.
Huffington Post: In the U.S., we pride ourselves on freedom of speech. Regrettably, this is not the case in many countries. For example, the Iranian regime concentrates on oppression of thought.
National Review: The Islamic State now reportedly controls more than one-third of Kobani, the besieged Syrian city on the border of Turkey. American military officials are considering the “real possibility” that the Islamic State will defeat the Kurdish forces struggling to keep the city from falling, Voice of America reported last night.
The Christian Post: Amicus briefs filed on behalf of Holt came from a ideologically diverse array of groups, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Anti-Defamation League.
Religion News Service: In some ways, the case of the Muslim prisoner who wants to grow a beard seems easy. When it comes to a prisoner’s religious rights, federal laws favors accommodation when possible.
National Post: With ISIS an hour away, one of the only remaining Christian communities makes its ‘last stand in Iraq’
Orthodox Christian Network: With extremists flying the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham less than an hour down the road, the future of one of the last Christian communities in the Middle East is at grave risk of assimilation or annihilation.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent a blunt message to prison officials planning a policy that limits the religious freedom of inmates: it would be important to have a good reason for the restriction before it gets into court. Trying to bolster the rationale at the lectern is not a promising strategy.
Townhall: In Holt v. Hobbs, a case pending this term, a Muslim prisoner argues for the right to grow a beard for religious reasons and to be exempt from a prison regulation requiring it to be shaved. Sidhu suggests that Holtshould prevail, but the case “will test whether the Roberts Court’s stance on religious freedom includes a minority faith, Islam, practiced by a disfavored member of our society: a prisoner.”
The New York Times: Tracking the cultural treasures of Syria and northern Iraq has become a heartbreaking task for archaeologists and antiquity scholars.
The Christian Post: Those filing amicus briefs on behalf of Holt include the Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Huffington Post (Reuters): The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday said it would consider whether a Muslim woman denied a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch Co clothing store because she wears a head scarf was required to specifically request a religious accommodation.
The New York Times: A liberal Muslim scholar who had been accused of blasphemy for a speech he gave during a visit to the United States was shot and killed in Karachi on Thursday, the city police said.
Religion News Service: “The degree of religious liberty we give to people who are not powerful in society says a lot more about us than it does about them,” Rassbach said. “We don’t want to be treating people like animals because they committed a crime.”
University of Virginia School of Law Press Release: Another Supreme Court term, another key religious liberty case argued by University of Virginia School of Law professor Douglas Laycock.
Al Arabiya News (AP): Militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group publicly killed a rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after their self-styled Islamic court ruled that she had abandoned Islam, the U.N. mission in Iraq said Thursday.
CS Monitor: A Syrian woman walked the streets of Raqqa with a camera hidden in her niqab. The video offers a rare glimpse of what life is like in the IS stronghold, where the group has imposed a radical interpretation of Islamic law.
The New York Times: In a sign of the growing influence of the extremist group known as the Islamic State, fighters aligned with the organization beheaded a French tourist in Algeria and released a video on Wednesday documenting the brutal killing, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
The Christian Post: Around the globe, there are signposts of progress. The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted, and the prospect of war between major powers reduced. The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half. And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.
BBC News: When tens of thousands of members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority fled from Islamic State (IS) early last month, many were stranded on the barren slopes of Mount Sinjar.
Deseret News: Combined U.S.-Arab airstrikes hit Islamic State group military strongholds in Syria and Iraq as a simultaneous U.S. strike attacked an al-Qaida cell of hardened veterans with “significant explosives skills” said to be plotting attacks on the U.S. and Western interests, the U.S. military said.
The Washington Times (AP): The Pentagon says airstrikes in Syria and Iraq are the beginning of a “credible and sustainable, persistent” campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State militant group.
Christianity Today: Here’s a chilling thought experiment that, given the arc of world events, might seem eerily like a peek into the not-so-distant future.
The Washington Times: Fears have mounted in Jordan during recent days that Islamic State extremists are plotting attacks like the coordinated suicide bombings that ripped through Western-owned hotels in the nation in 2005.
Christian News Network: A Yemen-born man living in New York is among the latest being charged with aiding the Islamic terrorist group ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in federal court.
Western Journalism: While the terrorist group ISIS continues to dominate world headlines thanks to their liberal use of force, coercion, and religious persecution, the battle for religious freedom quietly proceeds unabated within the borders of America, albeit with a new twist that underscores the administration’s palpable hypocrisy.
The Christian Post: A lack of concern for Christians and a lack freedom of expression for religious minorities in the Middle East is one of the reasons behind the rise of terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said David Curry, the CEO and president of Christian persecution watchdog group, Open Doors USA.
National Review: Children are being beheaded, women are being raped, men are being crucified, and Christians are being forced to “convert or die.” This is the essence of radical Islam: the barbarians even kill Muslims, as well as Christians, Jews, and others who are not like them. To make sure the homes they destroy are the right ones—the Christian ones—they mark them with an “N.” It means Nazarene. We’ve seen that kind of branding before in Nazi Germany.
Aleteia: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to take action to stop the ISIS militants who murdered British aid worker David Haines and released a video of his beheading on Saturday night.
Deseret News: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is America’s enemy, not Islam, President Obama stated in his national address Wednesday night laying out a plan to destroy the terrorist organization.
Associated Press: At least 5,186 people have died in Central African Republic since fighting between Muslims and Christians started in December, according to an Associated Press tally gleaned from more than 50 of the hardest-hit communities and the capital, Bangui. That’s well more than double the death toll of about 2,000 cited by the United Nations back in April, when it approved a peacekeeping mission. The deaths have mounted steadily since, with no official record.
Christian News Network (Morning Star News): Police in Pakistan have taken into custody a Christian convert from Hinduism and his Hindu co-worker for allegedly burning a Koran and a chart of Koranic verses.
Religious Freedom Coalition: The Irish Mirror has recently posted grotesque photos of the children of Islamic State terrorists playing with the severed heads of Christians or Muslim “apostates” who have been the victims of the ISIS cruelty.
Religion Clause: The Justice Department announced Monday that it has reached a settlement with the School District of Philadelphia in a Title VII religious accommodation lawsuit that it filed in March.
Religious Freedom Coalition (Morning Star News): Police in Pakistan have taken into custody a Christian convert from Hinduism and his Hindu co-worker for allegedly burning a Koran and a chart of Koranic verses.
ISIS’ ‘cultural cleansing’ of Mideast Christians ignored by complacent Americans, Robert George complains
The Christian Post: As thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria, and other parts of the Middle East, are being tossed from their homes, killed, raped and pillaged by Islamic State forces and other terrorist organizations, Princeton law professor Robert George claims that Christians in America and other westernized nations are too complacent to speak out against the persecution in the Middle East and urge their governments to take action.
The Christian Post: Church leaders in Nigeria have said that tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims are on the run as terror group Boko Haram captured the key northeastern town of Michika and engaged in separate battles with the Nigerian and Cameroonian armies that left hundreds dead.
Huffington Post (AP): The Philadelphia School District has settled a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit that accused school administrators of discriminating against an employee who said he couldn’t trim his beard for religious reasons.
The Christian Post: As ISIS continues to pose a menace to religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, Christians from the region have spoken with horror about what the terrorist group is doing to their communities.
Get Religion: In this case, conservative legal organizations such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rutherford Institute are on the same side as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The New York Times: As it happened, one day earlier, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had released a video of the beheading of Steven Sotloff, an American journalist. Two weeks earlier, the Islamist militants of ISIS had reported a similar murder of another American reporter, James Foley.
Aleteia: Jihadists continue to quickly publicize their crimes and acts of violence on YouTube in videos that show ISIS armed militiamen beheading their prisoners in Iraq and Syria. The terrorists in Syria murdered dozens of soldiers after they gained control of the al-Raqqa Air Base last week. In Iraq, ISIS gunmen killed a Kurdish leader in what was considered a warning to Kurdistan to end its cooperation with the United States in attempting to stop the Islamists.
Aleteia: The human toll, of course, is the most important concern: the killing of innocent people, the rape and enslavement of women, the brutal uprooting of a population whose ancestors have lived there for untold generations. But the story of civilization that is recorded in everything from stone tablets and sculptures of winged lions to ancient monasteries and languages is also very much at risk as the Islamic State tries to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
Zenit: Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako has issued an impassioned plea to the international community to speak up and act in defence of Iraqi Christians and other persecuted minorities in the country.
The Christian Post: A British mother of two, now a Muslim convert associating with Islamic State terrorists in Syria, posted a series of tweets threatening Christians, with one specifically mentioning beheadings at the point of a “blunt knife.”